Chernobyl is a five-episode miniseries that portrays the events surrounding the 1986 disaster at the Chernobyl nuclear plant. The series premiered in May 2019 on HBO Max in the United States and SKY in the United Kingdom. The cheapest and best way to watch Chernobyl is through an HBO Max subscription, which gives you access to thousands of other shows as well!
Chernobyl follows the stories of the people involved with both the lead-up to the disaster and the cleanup effort that followed. The series depicts the daunting and dangerous work of the first-responders that risked their lives to help contain the radioactive spread that followed the reactor explosion.
Craig Mazin created and wrote Chernobyl, while Johan Renck directed each of the five episodes. Since its release, Chernobyl has received critical acclaim and was nominated for 19 Emmys, winning ten.
What streaming services have Chernobyl?
Chernobyl can be streamed with an HBO Max membership at no additional cost. If you’d rather watch the show through Hulu or Youtube TV, you’ll need to sign up for the HBO Max add-on through either service.
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Streaming services that offer Chernobyl
|HBO Max||Hulu (with HBO Max add-on)||Youtube TV (with HBO add-on)||Apple TV||Amazon Prime Video|
|Base Price per Month||$14.99||$5.99 Hulu subscription,$14.99 HBO add-on||$64.99 YouTube TV subscription, plus $14.99 HBO add-on||Episodes can be purchased starting at $3.99/episode.||Episodes can be purchased starting at $2.99/episode or $18.99 for the entire series.|
|# of Simultaneous Streams||3||2||3||6||2|
If you’re not currently signed up for any of these subscription services, the cheapest way to watch Chernobyl is through an HBO Max subscription. If you watch all five episodes in your first month and end up deciding to cancel your subscription, it’ll run you a total of $14.99. This is definitely cheaper than purchasing the series through Amazon Prime Video or Apple TV.
While Chernobyl is available through Apple TV and Prime video for purchase, it’s important to note that these services only offer a purchase option. There’s no way to rent the individual Chernobyl episodes through either service.
Can you watch Chernobyl for free?
Outside of the free trial promotions that some streaming services offer, there isn’t a completely free way to watch Chernobyl. If you already subscribe to HBO Max, YouTube TV with the HBO Max add-on, or Hulu with an HBO Max add-on, watching Chernobyl won’t cost you any extra money.
What is Chernobyl about?
Chernobyl is a five-part miniseries that dramatizes the events surrounding the 1985 Chernobyl nuclear disaster in Pripyat, Ukraine. The show picks up right before the fatal reactor explosion, following the frantic engineers that were on-site working during the disaster. Following the meltdown, the spotlight turns to those involved with the cleanup efforts. Firefighters and military personnel rush to contain the fallout, performing multiple extremely dangerous tasks amid high levels of radiation to avoid further disaster. The show paints a grim image of the horrors that many of the responders experienced while working to save countless lives.
Chernobyl also focuses on the political tensions involved with the response to the disaster. The show’s main character, Valery Legasov (played by Jared Harris), is a Soviet chemist that was commissioned to provide technical advice on the response efforts. Legasov quickly realizes the severity of the situation and tries to warn the Soviet political leaders calling the shots. He struggles to convince his superiors to take the necessary actions to avoid further disaster, as many Soviet leaders didn’t want the severity of the situation to become public knowledge. Chernobyl highlights some of the dangerous lies that were told while trying to cover up the disaster.
Upcoming seasons of Chernobyl
When asked about the possibility of a second season, creator Craig Mazin said, “We will not be doing that.” Don’t fret though — if you want more Chernobyl content you can check out the Chernobyl Podcast, hosted by Craig Mazin and Peter Sagal. The Chernobyl podcast was released alongside the show and was deemed one of Apple Podcasts’ “Best Listens of 2019”.
Best way to watch Chernobyl
You can leave your history textbook on the shelf when watching Chernobyl. The show does a great job of keeping the viewer engaged and up to speed without expecting much prior knowledge about the actual event. That said, we’d recommend watching the show in order since new players come into focus throughout the episodes.
If you want a more immersive experience while you watch the series, you can listen to the corresponding episode of the Chernobyl podcast after you watch each episode of the show. This isn’t a must to enjoy the show — Chernobyl won two Golden Globes and 10 Emmys on its own — but it should add depth and context to each episode, making for a more engaging journey through the story.
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